Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Jay Landesman (1920-2011)

Jay Landesman died this past week in London, aged 91. Here's James Campbell, writing in The Boston Review about Landesman's seminal (sic) magazine, Neurotica:

The closest there was to a beat magazine (thought it could only be seen that way in retrospect) in the late 1940s and early ’50s was a slim, eccentric journal whose contributors moved among the bases of art, sex, and neuroticism…..Ginsberg’s first contribution to a magazine with a nationwide circulation appeared in Neurotica 6 (Spring 1950), by which time the magazine had adopted a furtive beat identity. Ginsberg’s brief "Song: Fie My Fum" (an early working of “Pull My Daisy”) was not likely to advance by much the editor’s avowed cause of describing "a neurotic society from the inside"; nevertheless, it was the right kind of verse for the venue, with its playful sexual content: "Say my oops, Ope my shell, Roll my bones, Ring my bell ..." The contributor’s note informed readers that "Allen Ginsberg recently recovered from a serious illness." (sic)….The longest and most serious contribution to Neurotica 6 was "Report from the Asylum: Afterthoughts of a Shock Patient" by Carl Goy, the pseudonym of Ginsberg’s new friend in the Columbia PI, Carl Solomon..

The full article can be read here. Here's Landesman's obituary as it appeared on Monday in the St Louis Beacon. The St Louis Post-Dispatch obit may be read here

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